May 19, 2022

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Mexican union wants Reuters to investigate US labor scandal at Panasonic

Mexican union wants Reuters to investigate US labor scandal at Panasonic

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© Reuters. Panasonic logo REUTERS / Steve Marcus on company stand

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By Tina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A union in Mexico on Monday called on the US government to investigate workers’ rights violations at the Panasonic plant. In a petition to U.S. labor officials, the Mexican union Snidis, a Panasonic factory in the city of Rhinosa, violated the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada agreement by signing a union agreement without the knowledge of workers and firing dozens of protesting workers.

“It is important that the US government is informed that workers ‘rights are being violated,” said Rosario Moreno, leader of Snidis, a union that grew out of workers’ dissatisfaction with traditional groups in Tamoulibas.

“They (the workers) were given a deal they did not know about,” Moreno said of Panasonic’s deal with rival union Siamese.

Asked about the alleged abuses, Panasonic said it was committed to complying with Mexico’s labor laws and the collective bargaining process, and was “interested in ensuring that the controversy did not affect the collective bargaining freedom of employees.”

The company also said that Panasonic was not “directly involved” in the dispute between Snidis and Xiamarm.

The Panasonic and Tamaulipas Labor Council, which signed the agreement, said the agreement was legal.

The U.S. Department of Labor did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Panasonic.

The controversy at Panasonic, which employs about 1,900 people at the Rhinosa plant and develops car audio and display systems for export to the United States and Canada, arose from a vote last year rejecting workers’ union agreement.

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(By Tina Beth Solomon)